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Parasites Like Us
Synopses & Reviews
Times are changing in South Dakota. Birds are disappearing. Dogs are turning on mankind. Hogs are no more.
Anthropologist Hank Hannah has a hope: that by studying all of the lost civilizations of human history, he may finally come to understand the hearts of those nearest to him. But when one of his students discovers a prehistoric spear point, Hannah abandons his classroom in order to exhume a twelve-thousand-year-old grave, thereby unearthing an ancient and deadly legacy. Now his deep connection with an extinct people must guide him and his companions through an ever more uncertain future, across icy plains haunted by frozen corpses and burning pyres, back twelve thousand years to the dawn of another Ice Age.
Adam Johnson's singular blend of extraordinary compassion, ingenious wit, and athletic prose have earned him comparisons to the likes of Salinger, Vonnegut, and Boyle. His visionary debut novel will not only cement that reputation, but is also certain to attract a variety of readers ranging from fans of Michael Chabon's Wonder Boys to Stephen King's The Stand.
"The most daring element in this heterogeneous mix, however, may well be the vein of earnest solemnity that Johnson adds to it. Unlike most satirists, he's not afraid to let the mask of irony fall occasionally, launching into flights of plaintiveness that sometimes border on the maudlin." New York Times
"Johnson displays the same inventiveness, black humor, and penetrating insight that marked his short story collection Emporium in this weird but masterfully written debut novel." Booklist
"Parasites Like Us is a strange, remarkable novel that is hilarious and infused with sparklingly imaginative and vivid detail — part love story, part midlife crisis, part anthropological treatise and part futuristic science fiction." St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The debut novel by the author of The Orphan Master's Son, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Hailed as "remarkable" by the New Yorker, Emporium earned Adam Johnson comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and T.C. Boyle. In his acclaimed first novel, Parasites Like Us, Johnson takes us on an enthralling journey through memory, time, and the cost of mankind's quest for its own past.
Anthropologist Hank Hannah has just illegally exhumed an ancient American burial site and winds up in jail. But the law will soon be the least of his worries. For, buried beside the bones, a timeless menace awaits that will set the modern world back twelve thousand years and send Hannah on a quest to save that which is dearest to him. A brilliantly evocative apocalyptic adventure told with Adam Johnson's distinctive dark humor, Parasites Like Us is a thrilling tale of mankind on the brink of extinction.
Times are changing in South Dakota: birds are disappearing, dogs are turning on mankind, and hogs are no more. But when one of his students discovers a prehistoric spear point, anthropologist Hank Hannah abandons his classroom in order to exhume a 12,000-year-old grave, thereby unearthing an ancient and deadly legacy.
About the Author
Adam Johnson, a former Wallace Stegner Fellow, teaches creative writing at Stanford University. His fiction has appeared in Esquire, The Paris Review, Harper's, Missouri Review, and New England Review, as well as Best New American Voices. He is the author of the short story collection Emporium and The Orphan Master's Son, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.
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